Secularized American Catholic universities fail every test of honest advertisement: they are neither Catholic nor American, insofar as they peddle heresies and anti-American ideologies, and they don’t even resemble universities. They are more like glorified PC high schools or left-wing adult learning annexes. They are worse than a waste of time and money; they corrode souls and deform minds. A few of them are academically strong in this or that department, but in general they are ghastly messes — sorry products of the 1967 Land O’ Lakes Statement, a baldly heretical declaration cobbled together by Notre Dame’s Theodore Hesburgh, and incidentally signed and promoted by the pedo-rapist Theodore McCarrick, which called on all Catholic colleges and universities to secularize.
Sadly, Franciscan University of Steubenville, which many Catholics assume is safe from that secularist contagion, is succumbing to it. Both the president of Steubenville University and his COO (who functions as a de facto executive vice president) are “pushing the school to embrace the LGBT agenda,” says an angry parent. Concerned Catholics, including several shocked parents and students, contacted me several months ago about the secularizing mischief of Fr. Sean Sheridan, Steubenville University’s president, and his hand-picked COO William Gorman. They have set up a “Diversity and Inclusion Committee,” which they are using to “undermine the Church’s teachings on human sexuality,” says a concerned Catholic who has witnessed the school’s slide toward secularism over many years. “Sheridan and Gorman want to drive conservatives off campus and bring gay-rights propagandists like Jesuit James Martin on to it.” (In 2017, Donald Wuerl hosted a special luncheon for Martin. Wuerl’s hand-picked pastor at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, Monsignor W. Ronald Jameson, has signed an interfaith declaration in favor of gay marriage.)
Both Sheridan and Gorman are products of Wuerlworld; Sheridan received a canon law degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C, which brought him into contact with Wuerl’s Gay Mafia. (The notorious gay predator Monsignor Walter Rossi got his canon law degree at Catholic U and did his thesis, appropriately enough given his many beach pads, Lexus auto, and other residences, on canonical issues related to “temporal goods.”)
Gorman is the former associate moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Washington. He worked under Bishop Barry Knestout, whose long and ruthless service for the Gay Mafia resulted in his promotion within the last year to the head of the large Richmond archdiocese in Virginia. Knestout’s coat of arms contains, as he proudly explained after his installation, an element which honors his service to Theodore McCarrick.
Around three years ago I had a brief acquaintance with Gorman. At the time, I was investigating Wuerl’s creepy Embassy Row lifestyle. Knestout, during my investigations, had sent me a letter threatening to unleash the police on me if I dared to poke around Wuerl’s palatial penthouse at the top of the Our Lady Queen of the Americas building in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, D.C. (To give you a sense of the neighborhood, Wuerl’s penthouse was for a time right across from Sandra Day O’Connor’s posh apartment.) Gorman served as the errand boy for the letter and comically attempted something akin to spiritual intimidation on me. “I think you should go and pray about the damage you are doing,” he said to me. I laughed in his face. If anyone needed time in the confessional, it was Gorman and his sinister pals, whose scarlet clericalist sins included stonewalling Catholic mothers (Wuerl once famously sent a Gay Mafia priest to seize from the Nashville Dominicans a well-functioning school in Maryland which their children attended; they protested but Wuerl instructed Knestout to freeze them out) and smearing orthodox Catholic priests (Knestout and Gorman played a leading role in punishing a priest for withholding Communion from a lesbian activist who had confronted the priest in the sacristy before Mass.)
So it didn’t surprise me when I heard from a concerned Catholic that “Gorman was trying to get gay marriage proponents to speak at Steubenville, was trying to change the school’s official literature to reflect LGBT-friendly language, and was persecuting orthodox Catholic professors on campus.” That sure sounded like Gorman. But how did such a left-winger get hired at a school which once enjoyed a solid conservative reputation? The answer soon became obvious: Fr. Sean Sheridan comes out of the same D.C. cesspool.
“Sheridan hired Gorman to liberalize the school because he wants Wuerl to get Pope Francis to name him a bishop,” says a chancery-connected source in Washington, D.C. “Sheridan desperately wants to be a bishop and sees Steubenville as a conservative backwater that is beneath him.”
A classmate of Sheridan’s from Catholic University laughed at hearing his ecclesiastical ambitions. “He wasn’t impressive. He was just a young guy who walked around in jeans. I was surprised to hear he was president of Steubenville,” this source said. “What happened to Steubenville?”
It is becoming as flaky as the order that runs it. Sheridan, according to informed sources, represents a modernist, Gay Mafia-friendly trend within his branch of the Franciscan order, TOR (Third Order Regular). “It is not surprising that the McCarrick-Wuerl culture would pour into Steubenville through a Third Order Regular Franciscan like Sheridan and his hire Gorman,” says a veteran Church observer. “TOR has a serious gay problem and lot of Franciscans like Sheridan have accepted the modern zeitgeist.”
“If Steubenville’s Board doesn’t force out Sheridan and Gorman, Franciscan Steubenville will just turn into Notre Dame but without any academic panache,” he continued. “Sheridan and Gorman think that the political correctness will produce a huge student population. It won’t. It will just drive away Catholics and create a student body no different than the student population at any crummy state college.”
Is it too late? Has the Notre Dame-ization of Steubenville progressed too far? “I would guess only about a third of the faculty and administration can be described as orthodox,” says a Steubenville professor. A Steubenville student with whom I spoke put the number higher, “I think maybe fifty percent is quietly opposed to Sheridan and Gorman.” But he agreed that the school’s orthodoxy is fast eroding and will vanish if Sheridan and Gorman remain in power.